An initiative to help reunite people of African descent with their ancestry has been launched in Accra.
Dubbed, African Ancestry Family Reunion (AAFR), the initiative is being spearheaded by AfricanAncestry.com, pioneers of genetics ancestry tracing for people of African descent.
Using a comprehensive database of DNA samples for over 30,000 indigenous African, the AAFR is able to determine specific countries and ethnic groups of origin of interested persons.
Launching the initiative in Accra, the Co-founder and President of African Ancestry, Dr Gina Paige, said the AAFR could help unrivaled level of detail, accuracy and confidence.
“We are here to launch African Ancestry Family Reunion and we are very excited. The first thing people want to do once they find out what country and what people they share ancestry with is travel home and now we have an opportunity to help them do that.
“African Ancestry is committed to providing a unique service to the black community by working daily to improve the cultural, emotional, physical, spiritual and economic wellbeing of people across the African diaspora,” he said.
Under the initiative, she noted that the African-Americans who have found their ancestry would this year embark on a trip to six African countries to identify with their home countries.
She said the countries to be toured include Ghana, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Cameroon and Senegal.
She added that these countries were chosen because they had more people tracing their ancestry to them.
As part of the Year of Return launched by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, she indicated that African Ancestry saw the need for individuals to know their ancestors and to honour them.
“African Ancestry which has been in existence for the past 17 years has helped more than 1,000 people to trace their ancestries either in the maternal or paternal lines and that such people do want to visit and know where they originated from.”
She said the trips to the various countries would commence in April through to December, adding that Ghana would be one of the first countries to be visited in April by the participants.
The Director of Partnerships for African Ancestry, Mr Diallo Sumbry, said the Africa Ancestry in its 17 years of operations has been owned by black people and established for the black people.
“Africa history has it that in every generation, there would be people who will be given the opportunity to rise up and take their destiny of greatness.
“It is time for Africa to unite and take up its destiny. The African Ancestry Family Reunion will remain a platform to help members to reconnect with their ancestry,” he said.
According to him, the trips to the various African countries would be organised in partnership with the tourism authorities in the host nations.
Gateway to Africa
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr Akwasi Agyeman, noted that the Year of Return presented an opportunity for Africans in the diaspora to establish themselves in their respective countries.
He added that as gateway to Africa, Ghana would gladly welcome all Africans, who have identified their ancestries to use the country as an entry points into their various countries.